The moon will be the base for long journeys into space

The moon will be the base for long journeys into space

The moon will be the base for long journeys into space, told PAP Dr. Anna Fogtman, specialist in the medical preparation of astronauts for space missions at the European Space Agency (ESA). She added that Poland has a scientific and technological impact on the space industry in Europe.

“In the second half of the 1920s, monthly manned missions to the Gateway international space station are planned once a year, which will orbit the Moon, with the possibility of extending them to 90 days. Europe has three missions to the Gateway station so far contracted, 'said Dr Fogtman.

“From Gateway, it will be possible to travel to the lunar surface and, in the future, to Mars. We are already working intensively on the planning of Gateway construction, and the first components of this station will be launched into the orbit of the moon within three to five years, ”she added.

“People were already on the moon, but these were pioneering missions. There is a lot to discover on the moon: its structure and origin of matter, new minerals, and in space we are also constantly looking for an explanation of the fundamental laws of physics. In the future, the moon will be the base for long journeys into deep space, which is why we need to investigate the possibility of responsible human presence on the moon and the construction of the so-called habitats and the use of moon rock to build tools or shields against radiation "- explained a specialist at the European Space Agency.

Poland has been a member of ESA since 2012. “Its space industry is developing dynamically, especially in the field of satellite technologies, robotic technologies and space engineering. Poland also has strong research groups that focus on creating solutions for the use of satellite systems in the national economy, in areas such as navigation, telecommunications and Earth observation, as well as work on important aspects, including the problem of space debris. Poland has a scientific and technological impact on the space industry in Europe and I believe that the share of Polish companies in the European space industry will grow. However, there is still much to be done in the field of biological sciences and solutions for the permanent presence of man in space.

What awaits us in the coming years in terms of space research and space missions? “The recent landing of the Perseverance rover on Mars is part of a multi-stage and complex space mission to bring samples from Mars: about 1 kg of research material. It seems that it is not much, but for that one kilogram, several spaceships, rovers and rockets have to be built. Including a rocket that, for the first time in history, will take off from a place other than Earth to bring this material to our planet, 'explained Dr. Fogtman.

In her opinion, it is a pioneering mission that will last for many years, which will end in the early 1930s. "ESA will take part in several stages of this project, including building a rover that will provide samples for a rocket on Mars, and a vehicle that will intercept sample container in orbit of Mars, then exits orbit and returns to Earth. Capsule with sample container will land in the Utah desert in 2031. European companies, in collaboration with ESA and NASA, will provide technology solutions for this complex mission "- Dr. Fogtman explained.

The expert concluded that human flights to Mars will not be possible in the next decade. "Privately, I think that maybe only 20-30 years from now we will be able to bring astronauts safely and safely from there and effectively protect them from radiation and the effects of being in deep outer space. We still do not know many things about how this complex environment will affect humans Hence, these missions to the moon are so important, ”emphasized Dr. Fogtman.

“We are entering an exciting stage where we will have several coexisting space exploration platforms. Habitats for isolation research on Earth, space stations in low Earth orbit, Gateway station orbiting the Moon, and finally the very surface of our Earth satellite. We will conduct scientific research on all these platforms, and we will also test technologies aimed at enabling humans to stay in space in a sustainable manner, ”assessed Dr. Fogtman.

“We are accelerating when it comes to manned space exploration. A permanent and sustainable human presence in space is possible today because modern space flights are based on international partnership, not competition. Although the US has the largest budget for manned flights among the partners of the International Space Station, such ambitious, long-term and most importantly - regular space missions that are taking place today and that we are planning for the next decade would be impossible without international cooperation, more than divisions, ”said Dr. Fogtman.

When asked how Elon Musk's projects will affect space exploration, Dr. Fogtman noted that "an important element of a sustainable human presence in space is the reduction of transport costs, and undoubtedly Musk's projects already play a key role here." that today astronauts and astronauts travel to the International Space Station, but also produces reusable rockets. The elements of the Gateway station will be launched into the orbit of the Moon using the Falcon Heavy rockets produced by SpaceX, ”she added.

“For me, ESA is the only truly international space agency in the world and its great achievement has been to consolidate European interests and represent them internationally. It makes us aware of the importance of cooperation in the space industry, thanks to which we fly further and longer. In addition, thanks to manned and observation missions, ESA shows that we are all inhabitants of one Earth, which we must care for together. It is our common interest to protect it, ”sums up Dr. Fogtman.

The European Space Agency (ESA), based in Paris, is a union of European countries and Canada, which consolidates the European space industry and conducts European space missions: manned and unmanned; missions observing the Earth, including climate change, exploring the solar system, as well as manned to the International Space Station ISS.

ESA's budget for 2021 is 6.5 billion euros, of which around 10.5 percent. is intended for manned and robotic space exploration. Other ESA projects relate to navigation systems, Earth observation, space transport, telecommunications and research. As much as 22.2 percent is spent on Earth observation. the annual budget of the European Space Agency.

from Paris Katarzyna Stańko (PAP)

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